Mast Brothers Chocolate

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Last week I visited the Mast Brothers Chocolate store in Williamsburg for a tour and tasting. Like most others, I fell in love with this brand at first sight. The packaging is absolutely beautiful – they have a full time designer on staff who designs the paper and helps create the look and feel of the factory and store. What a dream job!

Behind the pretty packaging is delicious chocolate. The ingredients are simple, but the flavors are anything but. All you need is cacao and sugar to make chocolate, but the wonderful and complex flavors come from the beans. Everything from bean type, weather, and soil, to the roasting process define how the chocolate will taste. So when you taste notes of citrus, stone fruit, or slate, that all comes from the beans. Cool, huh?

After a little 101 on cacao beans, we got a behind the scenes look at how the chocolate is made. And each step of the way, we got to taste the chocolate.

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

And here they are! All packaged up and ready to go. Did you know that all the Mast Brothers Chocolate you see in your local Whole Foods and specialty stores come from this very factory?

If you’re in New York, stop by the store for the tour or even just to browse. You can taste chocolate either way!

#Totewell

Madewell Transport Tote, d'orsay flats, and skinny skinny crop zip jeans

Hello from NYC!

Last week while strolling through 5th Avenue and window shopping, I noticed I was in a head-to-toe Madewell outfit. Not surprising given that half my wardrobe is from there. Naturally, I had to Instagram the occasion. And what do you know? Madewell picked this little snap among a handful of other pics of their Transport Tote to feature on their site! You can see it right here. I’m totally blushing.

Bag: Madewell Transport Tote / Shoes: Madewell d’orsay flats / Jeans: Madewell Skinny Skinny Crop Zip Jeans / Shirt: Madewell boyshirt

Weekend Inspiration

NYC
This is the first time I’ve been to New York as an adult and I’m now appreciating just how beautiful this city really is. Even with a pretty rocky start to this trip, I’ve felt lucky to be here. I’ll be calling this place my home for the next 2 weeks for work and play and I already don’t want it to end. If anyone has any suggestions for food, drinks, shopping, or any must sees, leave a comment below!

 

image via

Chocolate Pairings

Ghirardelli Intense Dark PairingsGhirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree / Anchor Porter / Almonds

I love hosting dinner parties, but the prep and cleanup that comes with it can be a total drag.  For a simpler night with guests, I like the idea of having a small group of close friends over for a tasting party to try some drink/snack pairings. Wine and cheese is the standard, but chocolate pairings would be a fun and unexpected activity. And as the host, the best part might be that the prep and cleanup is minimal.

I’ve paired 3 Ghirardelli Intense Dark flavors with complimentary drinks and snacks.  Sipping and nibbling on these while watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones sounds like the perfect Sunday night.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark PairingsGhirardelli Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven / Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee / Ginger Snaps

Ghirardelli Intense Dark PairingsGhirardelli Intense Dark Toffee Interlude / dry Riesling from Scribe / salty popcorn 

 

Mezcal Paloma

Mezcal Paloma

Margaritas are the popular choice with Mexican food, but if a paloma is on the menu, that’s what I’m ordering. Palomas are typically made with tequila but I prefer using a smoky mezcal. It gives the drink an unexpectedly smooth bite that works well with the sweetness of the grapefruit.

Makes 1 drink

  • 2.5 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2.5 ounces mezcal
  • club soda
  • grapefruit garnish
  1. Combine grapefruit and lime juices with agave nectar in a glass.
  2. Stir in mezcal. You can use white tequila if you don’t have mezcal on hand.
  3. Fill the glass with ice. Top with club soda and grapefruit garnish.

Mezcal PalomaHappy Cinco de Mayo!

 

DIY Flower Crown

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

Looking through my Inspiration board on Pinterest, I realized I had a lot of flower crown images pinned. Something about them is so fun and ethereal. With my whole neighborhood blooming with spring flowers, I was inspired to finally make my own. Instead of using fresh flowers that would only last a day at best, I used high quality silk flowers. I picked mine up from Shinoda Design Center in Orange County.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

I wanted a blushy and muted color palette so I picked up light pinks, soft yellows, creams, and whites in the forms of roses, ranunculus, carnations, and peonies.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

A few other things you’ll need: floral wire, floral tape, needle-nose pliers, and stem wire.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

Start with your stem wire. Take 1 piece, and wrap it around the front of your head where you want the crown to rest. Take the 2nd wire and repeat for the back of your head. Bring the two pieces together and wrap the wires together in the overlapping sections. You should have an oval about the size of your head. Test the size and adjust as needed.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

Take a 3-inch piece of floral tape and wrap it tightly around the exposed wire ends.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

Snip each flower with a few inches of its steam remaining. Lay out how you want your flowers to be arranged. Beginning with your largest flower, lay it against the stem wire. Using two pieces of floral wire, wrap and secure the flower to the stem wire at the base of the flower and at the end of the cut stem. Continue adding flowers using this method.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

When you are finished adding flowers, make sure any exposed floral wire and loose stems are covered with floral tape. This secures the flowers and will protect your head and hair from scratches and snags.

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

And here’s the completed flower crown!

DIY Flower Crown | Dressed In Orange

And thanks to Design*Sponge for featuring our project on their Instagram yesterday!

Poached Egg on Toast

Poached Egg on Toast | Dressed In Orange

Poached eggs always seemed so fancy and difficult to make. Intimidated, I reserved my poached egg cravings for restaurant brunches. Turns out, it’s pretty easy and I’ve been missing out on some serious poached egg meals that could be cooked at home. Just add some white distilled vinegar to your simmering water before adding the egg. That’s it?! you ask? That’s it. I must have missed this not-so-secret trick in home ec 101.

While the egg cooked, I toasted a slice of sourdough, washed some arugula, and made some coffee. I was sitting down at the table in 5 minutes. It felt like I was having breakfast at a cafe, except I was in my pajamas.

Poached Egg on Toast | Dressed In Orange

Poached Egg on Toast | Dressed In Orange

PS – check out our other egg recipes. We’re clearly obsessed.

 

Rainy Monday

Reading in bed

These past couple months have been exhausting. With lots of out-of-town visitors and extremely long hours at work, the lack of rest has finally caught up to me. I woke up this morning feeling sick and reluctantly decided to stay in bed. When I was supposed to be resting, I was stressing and dreading the amount of work that would inevitably pile up against me when I returned. But against my instinct, I put my phone away, stopped checking emails, and let myself be still. The time to recharge, catch up on some reading, and listen to music was much needed for my physical and mental health. Sometimes we all just need to remind ourselves to take a moment to slow down.

Tea time

Rainy day

The Head and the Heart

Iced Irish Coffee

Iced Irish Coffee | Dressed In OrangeHappy St. Patrick’s Day! Most of you probably celebrated over the weekend, but this is a refreshing cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round.  None of that green cocktail nonsense.

Iced Irish Coffee | Dressed In OrangeYou just need Irish whiskey, cream, simple syrup, and your favorite cold brew coffee. Cold brew is coffee that’s been slowly brewed without any heat over a period of hours. I used Stumptown‘s version (available at any Whole Foods) for its rich and subtly sweet flavor — excellent for a coffee cocktail.  If you don’t have cold brew on hand, you can use regular drip coffee, but be sure to brew strong and let it cool completely.

Iced Irish Coffee | Dressed In OrangeMakes 2 servings:

  • 6 parts cold brew coffee
  • 2 parts Irish whiskey
  • 1.5 parts simple syrup
  • 1.5 parts cream
  1. In a cocktail shaker, add coffee, whiskey, and simple syrup. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 5 seconds (enough to cool, but not dilute the mixture).
  2. Strain into chilled collins glasses filled with ice.
  3. Carefully top with heavy cream.
  4. Add a cute straw and enjoy!

Iced Irish Coffee | Dressed In Orange

Iced Irish Coffee | Dressed In Orange

Iced Irish Coffee | Dressed In Orange

Avocado y Huevos Caliente

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in OrangeAlthough I am a sweet-breakfast person to my core, I can never say no to a plate of Huevos Rancheros when it’s listed on a brunch menu. This version of the dish, with avocados standing in for refried beans, has the added bonus of making the meal a bit healthier while still remaining completely delicious, and the whole thing was pretty simple to boot. I was able to scrape this dish together at the spur of the moment with items I already had in my fridge, but if you need to cut a corner while cooking this, I bet substituting a good store-made chunky salsa could work in place of step one in the recipe. If you do have some extra time, however,  I think making your own tortillas would really put the dish over the top– but then again, what dish isn’t improved with a hot, fresh tortilla? ;)

You can find the recipe here, on Food52. Enjoy!

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange